Yesterday I did something new. I worked as an election officer at one of the polls in Prince William County, VA.
The process went smoothly. We checked in voters with laptops that contained the county’s voter registration information. We just insisted (as state law requires) that each voter provide a legal form of ID. So most people pulled out their VA driver’s license, and we scanned it with a bar code reader.
Of course there were some problems, and I did not see all of them, but what I did see provides examples. One lady walked to the polls with her two children, one child in a stroller. Unfortunately, she had left her ID at home. So she had to walk back and get it, and she did. Another gentleman wanted to use a driver’s license from Florida. That was not acceptable, particularly since we could not find him registered under that name. Of course, we also sent a bunch of people who had come to the wrong precinct to the right precinct.
One adult citizen. One vote. One place near home to cast that vote. Not terribly complicated. In fact, we were fairly happy with the system. Over 50 percent of the voters in our precinct voted that day, but we never had a large back up. The morning was rough, but the system permits absentee voting. Therefore, large numbers of commuters make use of it, and we did not experience a heavy surge in the of people returning home in the evening, just steady traffic throughout the rest of the day. The overall result, adding the large numbers who had voted absentee, was a huge turnout in the 75 percent range.
In Virginia, we use paper ballots. After each voter established his or her credentials, we gave them a ballot in a “privacy folder”. They then went to one of the tables separated into sections by partitions. Those partitions allowed each voter mark his or her ballot in privacy. Then each voter walked up to a scanner, got behind privacy screens, opened their privacy folder again, took out their ballot and fed it into the scanner. The scanner then flashed up the American flag, indicating the vote had been recorded, and it dropped each ballot into a locked box underneath. That way, if we needed to do a recount, we had hard evidence to work with.
That’s not a perfect system, but it is a fair and credible system. Still, Virginia went for H. Clinton. Why was obvious. We have lots of workers in the area who are dependent upon government spending. We also have lots of immigrants in the area who don’t as yet appreciate the damage unbridled immigration is doing to the cause of freedom. No country’s cultural traditions can survive both a public education system that denies the special value of that culture and a huge influx of foreigners who don’t even have to learn the local language. Hence, each year our leaders feel less obliged to pay any attention to our Constitution, and our republic is dying almost without a struggle.
So at the end of a long day, when we shut everything down, I looked at the vote in our precinct with considerable disappointment. H. Clinton won. Since I knew the vote had been as fair as Virginia was ever likely to make it — no thanks to the rascals in the top three state offices — I had to accept it. Thus, I went home feeling a bit disgruntled.
When I got home at about 9:30 PM, I got a surprise. My wife watches French TV (That’s another story.). Well, it seems the French had figured out the election was leaning Donald Trump’s way. That lifted my spirits a little bit, but I was still tired. So I went to bed. When I woke up, I enjoyed hearing the good news.
So does the fact Trump won mean America is going to be Great Again? No. Of course not. Making America great again is going to require much prayer, the providence of God, and lots of hard work from all of us.
Let’s start with some of that tradition we need to save, a prayer. Here is an email I got today from Delegate Bob Marshall.
While the presidential election is over, the fundamental public policy divisions, some of which are ethical and spiritual in nature, still remain.
With God’s help, I believe it is possible to bind the wounds of our divided nation so that we can truly be one nation under God with liberty and justice for all.
The Founders of America, in the Declaration of Independence, placed their trust in Divine Providence for the rectitude of their intentions.
With that in mind, I urge you to read and share this prayer taken from the 1928 Anglican Book of Common Prayer. And thank God for his mercy.
Delegate Bob Marshall
For Our Country.
ALMIGHTY God, who hast given us this good land for our heritage; We humbly beseech thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of thy favour and glad to do thy will. Bless our land with honourable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogancy, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues. Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in thy Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to thy law, we may show forth thy praise among the nations of the earth. In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in thee to fail; all which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
“For Our Country,” Book of Common Prayer, 1928